The death of Hugo Chavez yesterday will lead to an emotional political transition for Venezuela that is likely to lead to Chavez’s chosen successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, winning the special election to be held in the coming weeks. Maduro will continue the Chavez political movement with the support of U.S. adversaries China, Russia, Cuba and Iran. But lacking Chavez’s charisma, he will not be able to keep the movement unified over the longer term. The country’s dire economic situation will open the door for major political change in Venezuela over the next few years.
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